Cuse Hoops 08-09 preview: Healthy Syracuse looking for redemption

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim had coached more than 1,000 games over 30 seasons, led a team to a national championship and was there at the formation of the Big East conference.

But in all of his years of meandering the sideline, not once had he ever done what he was about to do.

Like he had done so many times in the past, Boeheim motioned to the bench, and one of his players sprung up from his seat, ripped off his warm-ups, and entered the game. Taken out of context, there was nothing particularly strange or out of the ordinary.

So what was so special about this mundane, routine maneuver?

Well, the player that Boeheim had just signaled for was walk-on Justin Thomas.

Certainly, Boeheim has played walk-ons before. Boeheim was himself a walk-on before he went on to become the captain of Syracuse’s 1966 basketball team. But walk-ons are supposed to be used in one situation: Lopsided early-season games.

But this game was neither a blowout nor was it November.

This was a Big East game, and the game was far from out of hand.

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Burress not essential to Giants’ success

Plaxico Burress was curiously unapologetic.

Noting that he hadn’t “lost any sleep” during his suspension, Burress returned to Giants practice on Monday following the team’s 44-6 rout of the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. Burress had been suspended for two weeks and one game after Burress skipped a team meeting two weeks ago without notifying the Giants.

“They feel that they needed to do that,” Burress said in a conference call Monday afternoon. “I took it with a grain of salt and kept on moving.”

The question now is whether Burress is moving in the same direction as the Giants.

Sunday’s 38-point margin was the largest for the Giants since 1972, and it certainly seemed like New York was fine without its top receiver.
Actually, it was better than fine.

Up and down the lineup, the Giants were brilliant. There was Burress’ replacement, Domenik Hixon, whose 102 yards and a touchdown all came in the first half. Wideout Sinorice Moss chipped in two touchdowns, as did running back Brandon Jacobs, who also rumbled for 136 yards. And then there was quarterback Eli Manning, who finished with 267 yards and two TDs, plus a 136.6 passer rating, the highest single-game rating of his career.

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